2020 #IndyMini Ambassador Spotlight: Shane Hillman

Name:   Shane Hillman

Hometown:  Gas City, IN

Year of First #IndyMini:  2013

Fun Fact:  The 2020 Indy Mini will be my 100th Half Marathon.

Favorite Place to Run: Silver Beach in St Joseph, Michigan, Across Long Bridges and anywhere with Fishers Running Club

Advice for first timers:  Indy Moves Pretty Fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. What I’m saying is, take it all in: the city, the spectators, the entertainment, the track and those participating with you! There’s no place like Indy. Enjoy the run!

2020 #IndyMini Ambassador Spotlight- Christina Reynolds Grisby

Name: Christina Reynolds Grisby
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Year of first #IndyMini: 2007

Fun fact about yourself: The only other thing that may surpass my love of running is the love I have for dogs! If you ever happen to be out running with me, don’t be surprised if I interrupt our conversation to acknowledge any and all passing dogs. I’ll even most likely suggest some way to “steal” said dogs without getting arrested. Don’t worry! I have yet to act on this…yet, lol! I’m positive I’m the best dog mom to the best dachshund ever, Dexter and dog grandma EVER to his nephews, Rocky and Alfie.

When I’m not hanging out with my fur-gang, I’m orchestrating group runs and meet ups at local races with the local running groups I admin on Facebook, Ladies Running Indy and Circle City Runners. I’m also the local Indianapolis chapter leader of a women’s only, all paces welcome, national running group, Moms Run/She Runs This Town.

Favorite place to run: As long as it is outside, I love to run almost anywhere! My favorite runs are
usually when the husband & I travel. While traveling, one of my favorite places to run is on Rockledge Dr. along the Indian River in Cocoa, Florida with my husband. We visit there frequently and it is our go-to route anytime we want to run while visiting. Another favorite place to run and a tradition of mine, is when visiting Vegas, I always make a point to run from our hotel down to the famous Las Vegas sign and back. If I’m not traveling, you can find the husband & I frequently running in two of our favorite local
spots, the Canal Walk in downtown Indy or in the Fort Ben Harrison State Park.

Advice for first-timers: Always have fun and take lots of pictures! Once you figure out how to incorporate fun into running, head to your local running store and buy high quality socks. As a new runner many years ago, this was one of the things that took me many blisters, bandaids, and years passing to figure out. You may spend $12 and up per pair of socks, but you’ll thank yourself for it later. Once you have the socks figured out, make sure you get fitted properly for running shoes. Do not pick out the prettiest or most stylish running shoes. These shoes should serve a purpose and that is to get
you through your training and races injury free. If you’re lucky enough to find those stylish running shoes that serve the above said purpose as well, consider yourself lucky. What may be the best running shoe for your best running friend, may not be the best running shoe for you. Remember, function over style!

Just like your shoes, what nutrition may work for your best running friend, may not work for you. Figure out what works for you, whether it be race gels or more natural foods, prior to race day. This should also include your hydration. There are many products out on the market. You don’t want to rely on the race water stops for a product that may not suit you. Race day is not the day to find that out. You should be testing these out on your training runs. Training runs are not just for the mileage, but to try out your shoes, socks, nutrition, & hydration strategies. As much fun as running can be, the reality is, running is hard. To get you through these tough times when it is hard just to get your foot out the door, find a running group. The accountability, the motivation, and most importantly, the friendships you’ll gain are immeasurable.

2020 #IndyMini Ambassador Spotlight- Kevin Anspach

Name: Kevin Anspach
Hometown: Mooresville, IN
Year of first #IndyMini: 2015

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to be outdoors! I love everything from hiking to swimming, and everything in between. I am known to spend the day just hiking through the state parks.

As a kid I loved playing sports, swimming, and climbing rocks. Not much has changed, other than being a few decades older ( and a few more aches and pains afterwards ). Instead of sports, I now enjoy running. Instead of climbing rocks, I now enjoy obstacle course racing. I have never been an indoor person, and I am pretty sure that will never change no matter how
old I get. Age is just a number!

Favorite place to run: My two favorite places to run are on my local country roads. The scenery is refreshing as I run along the streets. If I am downtown, my favorite places to run are along the canal, the zoo loop, and along the white river on the dirt paths. Of course, in the month of May, my favorite place to run is around the IMS track!

Advice for first timers: If it scares the heck out of you to sign up, that means you need to do it! Definitely find a good training plan for the pace you want to keep, and do not skip a workout! The couch is not your friend! Sitting for long periods of time is one of the worst things you can do to your body. To fuel your training and keep your body’s performance at it’s peak, find a food regimen that works towards your goals. I personally have been a big fan of the Paleo eating regimen. I don’t consider that a diet, just clean eating. The one alteration I do make to the Paleo regimen is adding dairy. Make sure you have rest days built in to your workout plans. Your body needs that time to recover and stay healthy. And most importantly, have fun with it!!

Join Kevin at the 2020 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 2, 2020! Register now at www.indymini.com/register

Calling all kids! Announcing the 2019 500 Festival mini-mini Coloring Contest Winners

Our first-ever 500 Festival mini-mini Coloring Contest was a HUGE success! We challenged our youngest fans to color the 2019 mini-mini Coloring Contest Sheet and include a good luck message to runners participating in this year’s 500 Festival mini-mini. Kids from all over the state of Indiana participated in the contest for a chance to win free entries to the 2019 500 Festival mini-mini, 2020 IPL 500 Festival parade tickets or a 500 Festival Prize Pack full of goodies!

Thank you to all those who entered into this year’s contest. We had so many creative, original and imaginative pieces of work come through our mailbox. We are so excited to announce the 2019 500 Festival mini-mini Coloring Contest Winners!

The grand prize winner is 10-year-old Hayden H., from Indianapolis! A favorite theme to this creative piece was the bright and bold color choice. Congratulations, Hayden!

Also from Indianapolis, the second place winner is 9-year-old Rebecca D. Rebecca’s artwork is illustrated with fine detail and elegant color shading. Great work!

From Noblesville, Indiana and coming in third place is Sydney E.! Every color in the rainbow is in this work of art. We love what you have created, Sydney!

Congratulations to our contest winners and thank you to everyone who participated in the 2019 mini-mini Coloring Contest! All submitted entries will be randomly attached to mini-mini participant bibs and distributed at packet pickup on race day on October 5 – to serve as good luck messages to runners!

If your child is still interested in submitting a coloring sheet to be attached to the bibs of mini-mini participants as a good luck message on race day, you can download, print and color the sheet below and mail it to the following address:

500 Festival, Inc.

mini-mini Coloring Sheet

21 Virginia Ave, Suite 500

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Are your mini runners registered to race in the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 5? Online registration for the mini-mini is now open at indymini.com/minimini

2020 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Registration Kickoff

Mark your calendars and set your alarms! Tomorrow, September 12, we’re officially kicking off registration for the 2020 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K. Registering for America’s Best Half Marathon for the lowest price we’ll offer all year is a party on its own, but an iconic race like the Indy Mini deserves an equally high-caliber celebration.

How can you celebrate with us?

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Kickoff Event

We’re hosting a free community event to officially kickoff registration! It’s going down on Thursday, September 12 from 11a-1p at the Allen Plaza, at the corner of Pennsylvania St and Virginia Ave in downtown Indianapolis.

Sign-up for the 2020 races at the lowest rate we’ll offer all year. You can also enjoy food trucks, music from DJ Kurt Streblow, giveaways, patio games, and activation from community partners including the Indiana Pacers, Indy Eleven, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Franciscan Health, Athletic Annex, and First Watch. This event is FREE and open to the public!

Can’t make the event? You can also celebrate by wearing your favorite #IndyMini shirt on September 12. If you post a picture to social media using #IndyMini, you’ll be entered to win a prize!

Learn more from the Facebook event page. We can’t wait to see you there!

#IndyMini Social Media T-Shirt Contest

Show off your OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon pride by wearing your favorite apparel from the event on Thursday, September 12. Want to win a prize, like a parking pass for race morning or a VIP upgrade? Snap a pic wearing your shirt and post on social media with #IndyMini to enter.

Kickoff the countdown to May 2, 2020 with us, and register for the lowest possible rate! Online registration is available at indymini.com/register. Thank you for supporting the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K.

Citizens Energy Group – 2019 Pit Station Winner

During the 2019 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 4, there were 22 pit stations staffed by 22 enthusiastic organizations, companies and groups that came together from all over Indiana to hand out water and Gatorade to participants during the race.

Every year, pit station members dress in costumes and decorate their areas to amp up their location and motivate participants as they pass by. Group members are on their feet all morning, cheering and preparing for thousands of runners and walkers to pass by their station. The Indy Mini wouldn’t be possible without these individuals who volunteer their Saturday morning to help runners and walkers reach their goals.

This year was special as the Indy Mini fell on May 4th, otherwise known as “May the Fourth Be with You,” the unofficial holiday of the Star Wars franchise. To celebrate the day, Citizens Energy Group stood out with – you guessed it – a Star Wars theme! Citizens Energy Group is the presenting sponsor of the 500 Festival Volunteer Program and has had a pit station for eight years – making it a long-standing tradition for the employees and their families.

Seven years ago, when Citizens came on board as the sponsor of the 500 Festival’s Volunteer Program, they hosted a small pit station during the Indy Mini with approximately 30 employee volunteers. They had an enjoyable and positive experience, and have since grown to a 100-person pit station inside turn one of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Employees and their families look forward to the Indy Mini every year, cheering on and providing hydration to the participants. One of their favorite parts is seeing the same kids participate every year and seeing how much they continue to grow!

The 500 Festival is fortunate to have a community of organizations and companies that come together every year to pass water and Gatorade to our Indy Mini participants!

Thank you to all of our volunteers!

2019 500 Festival mini-mini Shirt and Medal Reveal

Drum roll please…

Introducing the participant shirt and finisher medal for the 2019 500 Festival mini-mini!

Modeled after this year’s medal for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, the mini-mini medal features elements of racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The wing and wheel is on the front and back of the medal. Also etched in medal on the front are IndyCars racing in the Indy 500, coming around turn one. The event name and city on the front also make this medal the perfect memory of the event for you and your child. Plus, the bright green and paint splatter ribbon will certainly help this medal stick out from all the rest!

The navy, technical shirt is short sleeved and has the event name across the front. The famed wing and wheel on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in front of a blue, paint-splatter design completes the look of the front. On the back, there’s the event logo, sponsor logos, and the phrase “Kids Run Here.” Look familiar? That was on the IndyCars of Sage Karam and JR Hildebrand during the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500!

Are your mini runners registered to race in the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 5? Online registration for the mini-mini is now open at indymini.com/minimini. Sign-up your kids and show them the hardware that they’ll earn after they kiss the bricks this fall!

2019 500 Festival mini-mini Coloring Contest

Indiana’s smallest runners will take over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the 2019 500 Festival mini-mini kids’ run on October 5. We have a challenge for our youngest fans – we want you to color the picture above and include a good luck message to runners participating in this year’s mini-mini. We’ll attach all of the good luck pictures and messages to the bibs of mini-mini participants. PLUS, the grand prize winner will receive 2 free mini-mini registrations (one for you and one for a friend), plus two free Parade tickets. Start coloring your sheet today!

The deadline to enter has been extended to September 12, 2019.

Your mission if you choose to accept:

  1. Print off the coloring page and the entry form found below. (Please print one-sided)
  2. Color the picture using your creativity!
  3. Fill out the entry form.
  4. Mail your picture and completed entry form to the address below:
  5. Submissions must be received by September 12, 2019.

500 Festival, Inc.

mini-mini Coloring Contest

21 Virginia Ave, Suite 500

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Coloring Contest Rules & Requirements:

  1. The contest is open to children ages 12 and under.
  2. Limit one (1) entry per child.
  3. Entry must be received by the 500 Festival no later than September 12, 2019.
  4. Entry must include the colored picture and completed entry form. Any entries missing the above requirements will be disqualified.
  5. No purchase necessary to participate or win.
  6. All entries must be original and entirely created by the entrant.
  7. There are no restrictions on what an entrant can use to color the image.
  8. 500 Festival and mini-mini sponsors’ employees and their family members are not eligible.
  9. The top three winners will be notified by email the week of September 16, 2019. The grand prize winner will receive 2 free mini-mini registrations (one for you and one for a friend), plus two free Parade tickets. Second Place will receive 1 free mini-mini registration. Third Place will receive a 500 Festival prize pack.
  10. All entries become the property of the 500 Festival and may be used or reproduced in any manner and for any purpose by the 500 Festival without additional consent or compensation, and will not be acknowledged or returned.
  11. All submitted entries will be randomly attached to mini-mini participant bibs and distributed at packet pickup on race day – to serve as good luck messages to runners!

Good Luck! We look forward to viewing the entries!

Check out the 2019 500 Festival mini-mini Coloring Contest Winners here!

Apply to be a 2020 Indy Mini Ambassador!

Indy Mini Ambassadors are some of the most loyal participants of our race. A mix of runners and walkers, Ambassadors train, inspire, recruit, and help others get excited about the Indy Mini as they introduce them to the fun of running and walking throughout the spring. Now is your opportunity to partake in this exciting opportunity!

But don’t just take our word from it; hear from some of our awesome ambassadors over the years what their favorite part of the program was:

Lisha (2019)- My favorite thing about being an Ambassador hands down was all the amazing people I have met! From fellow ambassadors to past ambassadors and the 500 Festival staff!! I also met some other inspiring runners just from being active as an ambassador. Nothing beats showing up to races around Indiana and seeing friendly faces that I’ve met from this experience!

April (2018)- The people I met through my time being an ambassador have become like family. Being an ambassador changed my life and gave me more confidence to step out of my comfort zone. The people I was surrounded by helped push me to be a better runner and a better person.

Kirstin (2019)- My favorite thing was sharing the race with others! My mother and aunt even flew in from New Jersey to do their first ever 5k because I was an ambassador!

Jenny (2018, 2019)- Such an amazing experience all around. Representing the absolute, hands-down best half marathon around was such a wonderful opportunity! If I have to pick one thing, it’s the amazing people you meet! Such an amazing opportunity to represent such an amazing race and all the wonderful people I met along the way.

Kevin (2019)- I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Ambassador family and all of the group activities together. I enjoyed the chance to spread the excitement of the Greatest Spectacle in Running and recruit first timers and veterans alike.

Scott (2016)- Getting to meet new people from around the state. Also, getting my picture taken with Meb!

Kyle (2018)- It allowed me to be active in my community through volunteering. I LOVED meeting the people I met through my time as an ambassador. It allowed me to invite friends and family to fun events through 500 Festival and see the smiling faces by those enjoying their time and achieving personal goals!

Danielle (2018, 2019)- Hands down 2018 holds my heart and it helped me build into the 2019 ambassador year. Each year was great in its own way. I met so many amazing individuals within the running community, meeting others along the way of their journey and helping pull them through. The outreach we were able to do with volunteering in the community and the organization just made my love for 500 Festival grow that much more.

Emily (2018)- The program helped me turn my health around, I met so many awesome people, and I was able to encourage so many of my friends to sign up and get involved through running and volunteering!

Monica (2018)- I met some wonderful people that still inspire and motivate me. I also loved encouraging/ inspiring my friends and family to sign up and complete something they didn’t think they could originally do.

Cindy (2019)- I met so many wonderful people by being an ambassador. It was fun interacting with my fellow ambassadors as well as former ones. I was also able to get more involved with the running community. But most importantly, you all made my very first Indy Mini experience one I will never forget.

Sheehan (2018)- I loved meeting so many amazing friends and encouraging / supportive people all working towards common goals in getting the community out there for the Indy Mini! Ultimately creating a healthier community!

Rob (2019)- I enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people and being inspired by all of them in one way or another. Looking forward to continued interaction with ambassador alumni now that our term is finished.

Mark (2016)- I was part of the original 13 ambassadors. Chatting with Frank Shorter was very special. Wearing the Mini Ambassador shirt during the races or trading runs leading up to the Mini was also pretty cool. 😎

Applications to be an Indy Mini Ambassador are now open! The deadline to apply is August 26 at 11:59 pm ET. Learn more about the program, including requirements, here. Good luck!

The mini-mini is Coming in Two Months!

We’re almost two months away from the mini-mini! As the summer activities wind down and your kids return to school, it’s easy to realize how quickly October will be here.  Give your kids the opportunity to experience the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and kiss the bricks during an Indy Mini experience sized just for them!

Here are a few ways you can prepare your kids for October 5! Share your tips with us on social media by tagging @500Festival and using the hashtag #indyminimini.

  1. Introduce them to healthy eating habits: A well-fueled body will not only be ready to run, but will also be ready for a full day of school and extra-curricular activities. Plus, cooking healthy meals and preparing snacks together in the kitchen is a great way to spend time with your kids!
  2. Get the gear: Who doesn’t love a new pair of running shoes? While back-to-school shopping, pick out a pair of shoes, or a new running shirt, to get them excited to go for a run.
  3. Stay tuned for the shirt and medal reveal: Runners are motivated by a great piece of hardware. Be sure to share with them what they’re working toward when we reveal the participant shirt and finisher medal!
  4. Run with them: Running together is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your kids while introducing them to the sport you love!
  5. Have fun: The most important part to preparing for the mini-mini is to keep things fun! Encourage your kid and listen to their needs as they prepare for their big race.

Online registration for the 2019 mini-mini is now open! This fun run is open to kids ages 5-12, with distances ranging from 0.5 – 2 miles. Join us on October 5 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway- register now!